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Career Information for a Degree in General Studies

General study degrees provide a lot of flexibility with benefits of a complete degree program. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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Essential Information

A general studies degree is designed for students who want to get a college education, but don't know what specialization they want to go into. A lot of schools out there offer full general study degrees, while others require students to commit after 1 to 2 years. Courses that students can take include mathematics, history, philosophy, art and natural sciences. After completing this program, students can go on to graduate school or pursue many different types of careers.

Career Administrative Service Managers Correctional Officers Funeral Directors
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree High school diploma or equivalent Associate's degree
Other Requirements Certifications offered Formal training required Licensure required
Job Growth (2012-22)* 12% 5%12%
Median Salary (2014)*$92,250 annually$44,910 annually$52,130 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Graduates with a degree in general studies can go into many fields. Job titles include funeral director, correctional officer and an administrative service manager. Below are overviews and detailed descriptions of three possible career choices for general study majors.

Administrative Services Managers

The duties performed by administrative service managers cover a wide spectrum. They are responsible for planning, organizing and coordinating projects and services in almost every industry. Administrative service managers are found in both the government and private sectors.

These workers make planning decisions, direct the work of others, formulate goals and strategies and report to upper management, depending on their level. Many are involved in hiring and firing decisions, and in large organizations they may have one or more levels of management below and above them in the decision-making chain. This profession was projected to grow at rate of 12% from 2012-2022, an average pace, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The median salary for these workers was $92,250 per year as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov).

Correctional Officers

A correctional officer works in a prison, providing supervision and direction to inmates. Many employers require a bachelor's degree, according to the BLS, but most prison systems do not have specific requirements regarding major. Training is typically provided on the job for entry-level employees. Job growth projections in this field from 2012-2022 are expected to grow 5%, and most of the new jobs occur as a byproduct of the nation's ever-growing population. Pay is often low and the work can, in some cases, be dangerous. The BLS reported that the median salary in this field as of May 2014 was $44,910 annually.

Funeral Directors

Funeral directors manage and direct funerals, wakes and services for deceased persons and their families. They also embalm and restore the appearances of the deceased for display and comfort the grieving in their times of loss. A general studies degree can lead to this career by way of a 2- to 4-year program of studies followed by an apprenticeship.

A degree in mortuary science might be more direct, but a general studies program is more flexible for those starting out with multiple aspirations. Funeral directors must be licensed to work in their state and should possess a high level of tact and compassion in order to interact with friends and family members of the deceased. This job growth from 2012-2022 is expected to grow 12%, but finding a job may be easier for those who can relocate. Median earnings as of May 2014 were $52,130 per year, reported the BLS.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
    • Non-Degree
        • CCAF- General Education Mobile (GEM)

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Undergraduate applicants must be a high school graduate or have completed GED; Graduate program applicants must have a master's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BS in General Studies
    • Associate
        • AS in General Studies

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education (ITL)
        • Bachelor of Arts in History with an Emphasis in Public History

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate of Science in General Studies

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must hold a Bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    During which term would you like to start?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • A minimum 2.0 GPA
    • Submit high school transcript(s)
    • Submit college transcript(s) (if applicable)
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • California (17 campuses)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BA - Liberal Studies (Integrated California Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential)

    What is your highest level of education?

Popular Schools

  • Which subject are you interested in?

    • BS in General Studies
    • AS in General Studies

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • BA in History
    • BS in Sociology
    • Bachelor of Arts in History for Secondary Education (ITL)
    • Bachelor of Arts in History with an Emphasis in Public History

    What is your highest level of education?

  • When would you like to start classes?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Associate of Science in General Studies

    Are you a US citizen?

  • During which term would you like to start?

    • MA in History
    • MA in History - Public History
    • BA in Sociology
    • BA in History

    What is your highest level of education?

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics